A police officer in San Marcos, Texas was arrested by police Tuesday for brutally assaulting and illegally arresting a local woman.
While on the midnight shift last May 29, Corporal James Angelo Palermo, 40, pulled over a vehicle around 1 a.m. for driving in the wrong direction down a one-way street.
While questioning the driver, Palermo noticed a woman walking past and immediately demanded to know why the woman walked near his traffic stop, despite the stop being in the driveway of a local business.
Palermo then demanded the woman present her identification as she informed Palermo that she had done nothing wrong. According to the affidavit, the woman told Palermo that he was apparently in a bad mood and taking it out on her, referring to him as a “dick.”
Palermo responded by slamming the woman against the pulled over vehicle before throwing her to the concrete. The woman was cuffed and arrested for obstruction, resisting arrest and public intoxication. Before arriving at the police station, the woman was taken to a local hospital where doctors learned that she had not only lost two teeth, but had suffered a concussion during the incident.
Once at the station, police supervisors conducted a short interview with the woman and reviewed Palermo’s police report. Palermo’s supervisors immediately released the woman without charges after clearly seeing that Palermo had conducted an illegal arrest.
San Marcos Police Chief Howard Williams says he learned of the incident the following day and promptly ordered an internal investigation. Palermo was put on paid administrative leave June 10 while supervisors reviewed evidence including the patrol car’s dashboard camera footage.
Palermo, a 13-year veteran of the SMPD, was arrested Tuesday by police and charged with first degree felony aggravated assault with serious bodily injury by a public servant. Palermo was booked in the Hays County Law Enforcement Center Tuesday afternoon with a $25,000 bail. According to jail records, Palermo was released several hours later.
“Nothing sets cops off worse than a citizen asserting his constitutional rights. This incident is noteworthy only because an abusive cop has been arrested,” said one Texas resident over the incident.
The woman, who has already undergone surgery due to the incident, will likely need additional surgery according to police.
A police officer out of Tucson, Ariz. was also arrested Tuesday after surveillance video revealed that he aimed his gun at a gas station clerk while off duty.